Located at Baan Sob Ruak, in the Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai
province – close to the very fields where millions of poppies once
bloomed, the Hall of Opium gives a full picture of the opium trade, it’s
history, some of the characters involved and how it blighted the lives
This is a tale of a trade that stretches back some
5,000 years and gave rise to some of the biggest events in history – the
Chinese Opium Wars, the colonisation of India and the rise of
international drug cartels.
Despite being a dark tale, the
history of opium is fascinating and The Hall of Opium’s exhibition has
been designed to make a big impact on all visitors. Put together by
historians and multimedia experts, the show treats visitors to sound and
light displays, unique photos, video exhibits and interactive
presentations. This means it is accessible and exciting to people of all
ages and nationalities as well as being poignant and thought-provoking.
it has been designed to be educational and instructive, the Hall of
Opium will be especially interesting to younger visitors, who may find
it hard to imagine that just a few years ago things were so different in
this bustling modern nation.
The drug trade of the Golden
Triangle is not glorified in any way and there is a strong focus on the
dangers of the poppy – that lovely bloom which ruins lives. Once the
flower’s sap was extracted and boiled into addictive opium it became a
magnet for crime.
The museum teaches all about drug trafficking,
addiction, and smuggling, but most of all how the drug can affect the
people who take it, destroying families and communities. But the final
lesson the museum teaches is how there is hope and ultimately things can
change for the better.
The museum is open every day (except
Monday) from 8:30 – 17:00 hrs. A visit takes around 2-3 hours. The entry
fee is 200 baht per person.
Theodore Koumelis (TravelDailyNews-AsiaPacific)